Massachusetts Senator Criticizes Treatment of Gig Economy Workers

By: Daniel Steingold | May 19, 2016

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is one of the more prominent members of the U.S. Congress. In addition to being a politician, she is a former academic, and she has often been outspoken in opinion on many policies that affect Americans.

Her latest tirade? During a speech on Wednesday, Warren went off on the gig economy, which includes Uber and Lyft. She believes that with the workforce transforming, many individuals in the gig economy are subject to a lack of long-and short-term economic stability, a consequence of outdated legislation from the Industrial Revolution.

While she did acknowledge that the gig economy provides individuals with flexibility, independence, and creativity, it has accelerated making “a world where all the benefits are floating to the top 10 percent.”

Just like Uber and other components of the gig economy have upended the modus operandi, Warren expressed how she felt that the current status quo of how workers are treated is in need of disruption.

Warren went on to emphasize how many companies are simply taking advantage of how the laws are currently structured. She made a point to lump those working in the gig economy with those in other groups she deems exploited: temporary workers, contract workers, part-time workers, and those who are in industries with high turnover.

Being a policymaker, Warren presented a three-pronged solution to create a safety net for income.

First, she believes that all workers should contribute to Social Security. Secondly, she believes that every worker should have catastrophic insurance. And lastly, Warren believes workers of all kinds should be provided paid leave.

Many of Warren’s ideas may prove popular, but whether they would ever be implemented remains to be seen.

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